MIDEAST STOCKS Most Gulf markets rebound; Arabia falls again

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A trader leaves the Bahrain Stock Exchange after Joe Biden won the US Presidency, in Manama, Bahrain on November 8, 2020. REUTERS / Hamad I Mohammed

Aug 22 (Reuters) – Major Gulf stock markets mainly rebounded on Sunday, after falling in the previous session, but falling oil prices continued to weigh on Saudi Arabia, where the benchmark index has prolonged losses.

In Abu Dhabi, the index (.ADI) gained 0.6%, the country’s largest lender, First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB.AD) up 0.8% and telecommunications company Etisalat (ETISALAT. AD) up 0.9%.

Among other winners, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company for Distribution (ADNOCDIST.AD) climbed 2% following its inclusion in the FTSE Emerging Markets Index.

The changes will take effect after the close of business on September 17.

Abu Dhabi, the second most populous emirate in the United Arab Emirates, on Thursday ended a partial lockdown imposed last month as part of efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 variants. Read more

The benchmark index (.TASI) of Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, fell 0.6%, dragged down by a 0.8% drop from Al Rajhi Bank (1120.SE) and a Riyad Bank (1010.SE) down 1.8%.

Elsewhere, Saudi mall operator Arabian Centers (4321.SE) fell 0.7% after posting a drop in quarterly net profit.

Oil prices closed their biggest week of losses in more than nine months with another day of decline on Friday, as investors sold futures in anticipation of weakening global fuel demand in due to an increase in COVID-19 cases.

Dubai’s main stock index (.DFMGI) rose 0.9% on Sunday, led by a 1.2% gain from sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank (DISB.DU) and a 1% increase from developer first-rate Emaar Properties (EMAR.DU).

The Qatari index (.QSI) rose 0.2%, with Qatar Islamic Bank (QISB.QA) and Commercial Bank (COMB.QA) rising 1.6% and 1.7% respectively.

The Gulf State Cabinet approved the increase in the percentage of non-Qatari ownership in the capital of the National Bank of Qatar (QNBK.QA), the Islamic Bank of Qatar, the Commercial Bank and the Al Bank. Rayan (MARK.QA) at 100% – a move that could attract more liquidity to the exchange.

Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bangalore; Editing by Susan Fenton

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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